Parliament Passes Maternity Bill And Raised Leave To 26 Weeks


On Thursday the Lok Sabha passed the Maternity Benefit Bill 2016 which will host the maternity leave for working women in public and private sector from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for the initial two children. The maternity leaves further than the first two children will carry on being 12 weeks. The bill will currently be sent to the President for his assent earlier than it becomes an Act. Throughout last winter session, it has by now been passed by Rajya sabha.

Piloting amendments to the old law, labor minister Bandaru Dattatreya alleged that while edging the rules, he would endeavor to guarantee that pregnant women got utmost benefits. He alleged that subsequent to a four hour debate for the duration of which some members insisted paternity benefits too. They argued that these days the majority children born in nuclear families where mutually the father and mother have to take care of the child.

Women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi alleged that this was a most important step towards empowering women. She also added that ‘I am very pleased we have made history at present. This will help thousands of women and produce much healthier children. We have been working on it for a long time’.

Recognizing that women who adopt or use to bear a child also require time to bond with the child in the early months, the bill also expands a 12-week maternity leave to adapting and commissioning mothers. The commissioning mother has been distinct as’ one whose egg is used to craft an embryo planted in surrogate’s womb’.

On the other hand, the bill has left out surrogate mothers from the benefit, a subject over which the government had faced disapproval from the opposition benches in the Rajya Sabha throughout the winter session. The bill also formulates it obligatory for employees in establishments with 30 women or 50 employees whichever is less to offer crèche facilities either in the office or in any place within a 500-meter radius.

The international labor Organisation i.e. ILO Maternity Protection Convention orders a minimum 14 weeks of maternity benefit to women but suggests that countries should augment it to 18 weeks. The bill is gender neutral that will permit even a male employee to take his child to a crèche if it far away from the mother’s workplace.

It also permits employers to allow a woman to work from home if it is possible to do so. A senior Union labor ministry official alleged that ‘this has been done to lend a hand to new mothers, though we have left it for the employers to decide’.

Observing that labor is in the coexisting list of a constitution, the minister appealed to the state governments to play the lively role to make certain that all benefits reach women. He alleged that the alterations were ‘progressive’ in nature and would have positive impact’ on women partaking and improve their ‘work-life balance’. It would be anticipated of the employer to inform women concerning the maternity benefits at the time of employment as per Mr. Dattatreya.

He added that the amendments would guarantee that full maternal care is offered all the way through the full bloom period and will support more women to connect the workforce in the organized sector. The central government has by now amended its service rules and is providing 26 weeks maternity leaves to its employees. Countering to concerns expressed by members that benefits would be restricted to only 10 percent of women running in the organized sector, Mr. Dattatreya alleged the government has taken a host of steps for the wellbeing of unorganized workers. With these changes, India would rank high in the midst of the nations providing maternity benefit to women.

Indian women will get more maternity leave than what is obtainable in developed countries such as Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom as per the minister. Tathagata Satpathy phrased the Maternity benefit Bill 2016, a social bill and alleged that instead of plummeting the period of leave from 26 weeks to 12 weeks after the second child the center should say that up to third child there would be 26-week leave and subsequent to that no leave, he too sought paternity benefits.


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